Government Subprime Scheme Destroys Rural Ireland

Indeed. They’re not provided because they’re not commercially viable.

We still have rural dwellers crying about lack of post offices, banks, garda stations, pubs and a multitude of other services that are not viable for sparsely populated areas.

This is clearly nonsense for the good of the country. My solution is to tax people who are not involved in export production and have no tax for those who are.

I should add I have a vested interest. I live in a big feck-off one-off house in the country. I work from home so the heating is on all the time in the winter. I export my services around the world. My current utility bills (all in for electricity and heating) are less than they were when I was living in a two bedroom apartment in Dublin. I also am a Dub.

Or indeed, Dublin’s financial centre is going to bankrupt the country…

Just to make it clear that I’m not a Dub either, but I did live in Dublin prior to departing Ireland’s shores. I grew up in a one off housing and it left me very disillusioned with the practice.

My original reply that seems to have twisted a lot of knickers was with regard to one-off housing. I believe that choosing to build a one off house is a selfish way of living and should be seen as opting out of society. I intended to refer to half acre sites in clusters or on their own away from urban centres which are not on farms. That’s my own belief even having grown up in that environment.

I’m willing to accept what you say at face value. It may well be that you have a fantastically energy efficient home. But I take it you know your experience is not typical. Energy costs of detached homes are higher than apartments. Whatever measures you’ve applied to your house would achieve an even better result at lower unit cost in an apartment block.

That’s really the point - the generality of real Irish experience. Maybe youhave a composting toilet and not a septic tank. But the general move to one-off is causing pollution associated with septic tanks. Maybe you have a far more active social life than you had in Dublin. But the generality of experience is that one-offs are socially isolating while suburbs (despite their planning flaws in the Irish context) have an acceptable social life.

I know you haven’t said this isn’t the case. But you’ll know doubt be aware of this generic view of ‘h, I left the inhuman city for the countryside, its so much better for children’, which actually doesn’t describe current reality at all. My problem is really with the lack of honesty in the discussion - its refreshing to see you use the term ‘big feck-off house’. And maybe that’s all there is to it, and fine if people talk straight about it because at least then we can be realistic.

But this discussion frequently ends up in denial - typically the rural side trying to pretend that they subsidise city living, when the transfer of resources is very obvlously and clearly in the other direction. Now, if we could accept that fact and accept the main reason people opt for one-offs is to get a far bigger house than they could get in a city and don’t care about the isolation or the damage to the environment, at least we’d be addressing the reality of our lives.

Is it fair to say that one-off advocates don’t want to go there because they can anticipate a frank statement of their motivation is unlikely to swim in public debate.

Yes, but much of that wealth is because it happens that many/most national services are centred there. Government, banking, financial, administration etc.
It is generating wealth on behalf of the nation.

If there was no “rest of the country”, the amount of wealth Dublin that supposedly generates for itself and apparently should be allowed to ringfence for itself would be a fraction of what it
is currently.

It, and other urban areas are not as self sufficient and being leeched out of as some people are trying to imply.
The nature of business will always be that money flows into urban areas where the hub business takes places. The money doesn’t start and end in the urban area though.

That’s what urbanisation is.

Dublin is not the only urban centre.

Where does it start? On farms?

People living on half acres are not farmers. They work in urban centres.

I think you are missing the point.
Because money ends up being funnelled into somewhere, it doesn’t necessarily mean it originated there.

The notion of getting services per headline revenue generated is total balls also.
The area around the IFSC should have its streets paved with solid gold, if we take that lark to its ultimate conclusion. It earns billions, does it not and therefore should have amenities to match its earnings?

The people who work in the IFSC don’t live there. I wouldn’t think many of them live in one-off houses though.

Indeed, but what the IFSC is about is European financial institutions setting up here to avail of our low tax rates. You are absolutely right that Dublin isn’t an island. But, more to the point, Ireland isn’t an island when it comes to the economy. We’ve a massive exposure to the rest of the world for goods and services we import and export.

I think that’s why we have to get away from this mindset that Dublin is soaking in wealth from the rest of the country, as if there was a big cake and the East was snaffling a bigger slice. What ultimately determines wealth in Ireland is how much we export - whether an IFSC bank exporting services or a manufacturer exporting goods. Its not about squeezing business out of Dublin. There’s no reason why the regional cities couldn’t pull in more business from abroad. Its not a zero sum game.

I know we’re always with the negatives, but there actually isn’t much wealth generated in rural areas. Primary agriculture only accounts for something like 3% of GDP now. Then there was the building industry, but I guess around here it isn’t necessary to labour the point of what that amounted to.

The main point I wanted to make was that, of its nature, of course the IFSC isn’t about taking money raised in Dublin (or Ireland for that matter) and doing stuff with it. Its about banks in Dublin intermediating between international investors and borrowers in financial products. But for any rural advocates (if that’s a helpful term) are searching for some residual argument for suggesting Dublin is subsidised by households in rural counties that don’t even raise enough tax to fund their local services, then they won’t find it there.

The pattern is simply wealth in the cities going to subsidise rural areas. Again, I’m not suggesting rural dwellers need to wear sackcloth because of this. But what they could do is acknowledge these plain facts. A more common reaction, I’m afraid to say, is to deny this reality and pretend Dublin gets all kinds of largesse at the expense of others. For example, the comments of a Mayo FF TD implicitly suggesting that the Westlink bridge buyout was funded by general taxation when, as we know, its being funded by continued collection of the toll - it has simply been automated.

I know I’m wandering on and on, and another contributor has actually already expressed the point I’m trying to make far more succinctly

Can we start by being honest with each other.

Time to move this to or somewhere more usenet-ish.

Here it’s just pointless.

Okay, I waited 5 pages & bit my lip. But obviously, to quote Popeye, “I’ve had I can stand, & I can’t stands no more !”.

I can’t believe that people contributing on the Pin are advocating the kind of re-settlement policies that I’d associate more with Pol Pot or Stalin; because thats what I’m hearing !

People are suggesting that the state should control where people are allowed to live ?

I also can’t just stand by while self-builders take the rap for all rural pollution, which also seems to be accepted as Holy writ. While obviously there are issues with rural houses causing some pollution, I have never seen data which shows one-off housing to be anything other than a minority contributer.

The majority of rural pollution is cause by, guess what, farms !!

Nitrates, Poorly constructed slurry tanks, field run-off, & blatant disregarding of regulations on spreading slurry. All of these contribute far more to rural pollution that any amount of one-off housing.

Its marvelous that in Ireland of the 21st Century that we’ve decided to introduce Apartheid to our countryside, what will be its slogan “The Countryside for the Cluchies, the city for the Jackeens !” ?

Should I point out that the only reason that there is ANY issue with rural housing is because RURAL DCs have completely failed to provide any alternative to the one-off route. What is so difficult about each county providing a certain number of areas where clusters of houses can be built ? These areas could then be provided with services in a far more efficient way than if the houses were built individually.

I rather feel you are setting up a straw man.

The State already has this function, since at least 1963. Are you suggesting that endless costs have to be underwritten by the rest of the community?

Well, I think firstly people have suggested that pollution is only one of the costs imposed on the community by one-offs. But, just to clarify because I don’t think it has specifically come up, I think it is widely recognised by just about everyone except the IFA that agriculture is very likely the biggest single cause of pollution of water supplies. I recall a guy from the EPA saying they could trace 40% to 50% or pollution back to farming (let me admit I’ve no idea what exactly his basis for this was). But human sewage was also seen as a significant cause. Septic tanks are not the only source of this - inadequate systems in small towns and villages also contribute. But I’m afraid that you’d have an uphill struggle to try and pretend they aren’t a significant contributor.

For my part I don’t think I ever suggested people should be stopped from choosing to live in a one-off house. Only that I believe that it’s a selfish choice.